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Santos refuses to rule Ronaldo out of Sweden game

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
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Fernando Santos didn’t rule out Cristiano Ronaldo returning for Portugal against Sweden after training with the squad.

Portugal had to make do without Ronaldo for Saturday’s 4-1 win over Croatia in their UEFA Nations League opener after he sustained an infected toe, believed to be caused by a bee sting.

He later took part in a brief training session on Sunday morning before heading to Sweden in the afternoon.

Speaking to reporters on Monday evening, Santos confirmed Ronaldo was ‘reasonably well’ after training. He even stated there aren’t any traces of his toe infection left.

Although the Portugal boss stopped short of confirming a return for his skipper, insisting no final decision will be taken until later.

“We are going to wait and see how he responds this afternoon and we will make a decision,” said Santos as quoted on ESPN.

“If in this afternoon’s training session he shows the right conditions, there is a big chance he will [play]. If not, he won’t. Football things are always unpredictable.

“What we know is that there are no traces of the [toe] infection. If he feels well with his boots during this afternoon’s training, then he has a strong chance to start.”

Ronaldo hopes to become the second player in international football history to score 100 goals for his country after Ali Daei, who hit a record 109 goals in 149 games for Iran.

The Juventus star also has a solid record against Sweden, with five goals and one assist in six matches.

Portugal’s second match of Group A3 against Sweden in the Nations League begins at 20:45 (CEST) at the Friends Arena in Stockholm.